For the final month of 2022, San Antonio-based writer and radio host Anthony Dean-Harris takes over for another round up of new jazz tracks he’s been digging – and playing…
December marks the end of the year and the bulk of it involves every music journalist you know poring over their favorite albums of the year.
I like the Season of Lists as a time of reassessment, contemplation, and remembrance. It re-centers me to think about what I enjoyed in the year and what I was doing at the time. It’s an aural post in my mind, a marker of the moment.
It’s also why it’s preposterously late as it was swept up in the shuffle of year-end writing and then the new year’s obligations. Nevertheless, I get to make my one last pass.
Cécile McLorin Salvant, “I Lost My Mind”
From: Ghost Song
It’s definitely a cheat for me to have this song here but with this post functioning as a kind of clearing house of 2022 with my late addition to the website, I would literally be remiss if I didn’t take this last shot to talk about how Aaron Diehl’s pipe organ haunted me all throughout the year and I relished how something so big, bold, weird, and brilliant could just exist.
It feels appropriately acclaimed and not discussed enough at the same time. Salvant is a genius (and then I just remembered that she’s a class of 2020 MacArthur fellow).
Jeremy Pelt, “Picking Up The Pieces”
I have one last shot in my 2020 breakdown to also talk about how this song runs through the range of the jazz genre, telling a story all its own, and also being yet another fantastic Jeremy Pelt song. It tied me over through the year until I get his next HighNote release some time next year, sure to dazzle me as he always annually does.
Aaron Parks / Matt Brewer / Eric Harland, “Eleftheria”
From: Volume One
This song has everything– a soaring sense of hope, a bounce and a pop, Aaron Parks singing along so joyfully because he just can’t help it. Many of these songs in this playlist are essentially my favorite songs of the year. It’s just unavoidable.
Julieta Eugenio, “Jump”
I liked being reminded how tight and clever this album is. This was a joyful rediscovery in my reassessing 2022 and what I played on the air.
Steve Knight, “Sharp’s Disposal”
Persistence was a DownBeat album review assignment that found its way into my radio shows which then continued to linger with me months after I took it out of rotation. It’s a good linger to have made it this far.
Ethan Iverson, “She Won’t Forget Me”
From: Every Note Is True
Yet another cheat of starting this column so late is getting to mention this 1Q 2022 dream team release with Jack Dejohnnette and Larry Grenadier. I’m glad I get to circle back on this song one more time and shimmy to it a little bit more.
Maria Elena Silva, “December”
I had a show to promote in early January so I made sure to get this song in rotation once again. Thankfully, more people came to the show than when Silva rolled through San Antonio with a show I was promoting terribly last April.
David Lord, “Trees Yield Tomte”
From: Forest Standards, Vol. 3
David Lord was part of that same tour billing and also put on a superb show. It was a pleasure to finally meet him considering I was commissioned to write the liner notes for his upcoming album releasing (from what I hear) this April.
Jonah Yano, “the speed of sound!”
From: Portrait of a Dog
My latest DownBeat assignment is also one of those cool releases that will stay in rotation after the review has been filed. It’s got legs and soul.
Leland Whitty, “In Circles”
The first song of 2023 that’s a definitive banger, even though it did release in December, but it’ll take time to breathe throughout the 1Q.
Big thanks to Anthony for putting this together.
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